Channel: Abdur-Raheem McCarthy
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Bismillah Bismillahirrahmanirrahim Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. Welcome dear viewers to Islam today, and the English language talk show coming from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates on charger TV. We have on our show today, brother Abdul Rahim McCarthy and brother Abdul Rahim. Welcome and Hassan Malik.
Thank you very much. And thank you for being on our program. We wanted to talk to you today about many things, actually. But one of the things we want to talk to you about first is how you became Muslim. And, you know, the relationships that you formed as a result of being Muslim and how you the interaction was in reaction with your family and friends. But first, tell us about your background. I understand. Of course, we've had a chance to talk that you're originally from America. So we're in America did you come from and give us a little background? Okay, sooner Amanda Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa sallahu wa salam aleikum. wa rahmatullah alameen Nabina. Muhammad, Allah,
Allah, he was a big marine about
I'm originally from America, as you mentioned before that However, my grandparents were from Ireland, they migrated to America. My grandfather and my father were both born in America, as was I was born there as well. And that was from the metro Washington Metropolitan Area, Washington, DC area, the East Coast, East Coast. Yeah, like myself. Yes. We're about I think, a four hour drive from you. Exactly. It's about. So I'm from the DC area. It's where I was born and raised over there all my life. And that's where I became Muslim in 1994.
How I became Muslim, actually, I had an appointment, one of my friends. And I had started before Islam on a path that was not pleasing to Allah subhanaw taala. And it was not pleasing to my parents as well into my family. My family is a good family and a successful family in America. However, I chose to take a path other than what they had chose for me. So I was done. I was going down a wrong path and a path that was going to end with a lot of troubles for myself and for my family, a lot of sorrow for my family anyways. But that all changed. One day, I had an appointment with my friend, one of my friends in DC, and he didn't show up for the appointment. He was very forgetful, which was
good for me. It turned out when you say Dc, You mean in Washington, DC, a capital D, capital E. And
so I actually live on outskirts in Virginia, but we still go all the way into DC. So that's all called the Washington Metropolitan area because it's spread out northern the Northern Virginia, Northern Virginia. Exactly, yes. So what happened on that day is when I went to the appointment, he wasn't there. So as far as don't wait for him in the basement, and I went there, he said, you can play with his Sega. I noticed Sega still around. I'm getting old now.
It's a video game like the PlayStation now. I guess it's still around. I don't know. Anyways, he told me go play with that. So he had taken it, my friend thing into his mother's house, so it wasn't there. So I had nothing to do. So as I was sitting there, his father starts to read the Quran. He was he had he had tapes, cassette tapes, reading the Quran, in Arabic and English translation. And he's following along in his put on, so the living room, so so your friend was Muslim. Now he was his father was a Muslim. His father was a Muslim, but he wasn't a Muslim. He hadn't become Muslim. His father became Muslim 10 years before that, okay, but he hadn't become Muslim. Yeah, he was actually
my friend who's older than me at the time, he was maybe about 24, I was only about 18 at the time. So he hadn't become Muslim, but his father had become Muslim. So anyways, what happened is that, you know, had nothing to do as I heard this any strange re citation. I know what it was. And I was always curious about Islam, and what is Islam. And we hear a lot of things in America, but most of its negative. And most of its not, you know, proper information about Islam. And today, we hear you know, about Islam, the terrorists and all this other stuff, which obviously, we know as Muslims, it's not true. And the people live in this part of the world. They know this is not true as well.
During those days, a lot we would hear and especially as as white Americans, yes, they will use in the media, the Nation of Islam. Yes. To say that this is the religion of the black man. And the white people can't be Muslims. We hear this, you know, yes, that the white people are devils in this. So this is the this is the information I have in my head about Islam. So I wanted to know, so I went asked him about Islam as a father.
Friends, well, yeah. So I wanted to ask him about Islam. And the first thing I stepped with my boots on his prayer rug, he was upset about that. And then he said to me, you know, sit down, I said, have some questions about Islam. And I started to ask him one of the first questions I asked, I said, Can I be a Muslim, you know, as a white guy, now? Was he African American, whatever he was African. Okay, good. So he said, Of course, he said, No, this stuff you hear in the media has nothing to do with Islam. He said whether you're black, brown, white, he said,
Even if you're purple, I'm thinking I want to exaggerate about it, that anybody, Islam is the religion for all of mankind. So I was interested, we started to talk a little bit about Islam. And then you know, the time was left for me to go. So I requested from him some books. So he gave me some books about Islam, and most of them are translated from the Saudi embassy.
So I took these books and I went home on the metro going home, I read a little bit about the Muslim belief in Jesus, I listen them, peace be upon him. And I was interested in that it was the first time I heard no, we had grown up. And it was a three in one through the Trinity. No, I had my my gold cross on all the time on my neck. Now. Now, let me ask you now with the name McCarthy, can I am from Ireland, originally? I mean, in terms of ancestral, can I assume then that you and your family were Catholic? Exactly. Okay. All right. Roman Catholic. Yeah, there we go. Okay. So even I was in sometimes in a Catholic school and elementary school, kids items and things of that nature. So I was
going to eat and when I was young, obviously, my family and my father said, they used to go to church a lot. on my mother's side, they didn't go to church a lot. But I was raised, I even spent some time was in a Catholic school and elementary school.
So what happened is that these books and that when I first heard about, you know, the Trinity, and and you know, that's not proper, this was kind of, you know, interesting to me. Sure. But as I said, Before, I was 18 at that time, so, you know, you're 18, you know, you're not really interested in reading or religion and these types of things. So I left and I didn't even, you know, bother to read it again. I was doing I was doing, you know, with my friends and hanging out and, you know, doing things we shouldn't have been doing get in trouble and what have you. So one night, I remember coming back from inside DC. And I still remember, we went to him at this time to, to Southwest DC.
And that time, the last time was northeast where I went. So I was coming back from Southwest DC. And we got into a car accident, it wasn't my fault, the guy came across from a four lane road and cut in front. And I didn't see him. At this time, I didn't have a driver's license. So I figured, no, I'm gonna go to jail. Obviously, you're gonna get in a car accident, have a driver's license. So I decided I didn't want to go to jail. So I said, I'm going to run,
wow, run when my friend's house was on the other side of where we had the car accident. So it was, I was telling, you know, some of my friends were laughing because it was like a movie, you know, run into these woods. And I know that my friend's house is on the other side. But where is it that you don't know? I don't know. But I know it's on the other side somewhere. So I'm going through these woods for the first time, my life I left the car, I bought it for $600 wasn't important to me. So I go into the house where my my friend's house and I stayed there. And then, you know, for about a week, I don't have a car to go back out of the house. So while that's why I'm telling the story
about you know, leaving the car accident, because this is you know, something strange things happen in your life, you know, for a lot of good for innocent certain reason. We don't know why it's happening at a time. Exactly. So I got in this accident, I leave my car, I was just sitting there waiting. And then I decided just leave it run. So when I don't have the car now, what can I do? I can't go out, you have to get on the bus and go, I'm not really into that. So I remember one time I was living at that time, my mother had moved actually to North Carolina herself. From the DC area, my grandparents were still there. So what happened is that I remember I had these kootu have these
books about Islam? Yes. And these books and had when they were sitting on my shelf, I hadn't read them. And my grandparents, they're from Virginia as well, originally, but they're from the country in Virginia, and they're moving to the city later, and when they originally from the country. So they're really set in their ways. You know, no, no cable TV, nothing modern, you know, really a boarding house for 18 year old teenager. So I had nothing to do with the house. So I remember these books, you know? And I said, Okay, let's go read why not. I used to like to read, I used to know nothing I didn't read at all I like to read. And that's what I say often to my students. Now when I
teach that I'm surprised at the level of reading, a lot of them are not good readers, not just here in this part of the world. Even if you go back to America now. Yes, the level of reading unfortunate is very bad. With the youth. Now they're they're not good readers. And even though we used to be involved in our ministry, if we were actually, you know, good in reading, and I would read, so I wouldn't I took a book called Islam the religion of truth. Yes, yeah. Yes, I know, this book. Yeah. And I started to read it. And I really liked the book and really just, you know, I got attached to it. I read the whole book. This was on Thursday night, I read the whole book and an entire city.
And I decided immediately after this book that I wanted to become Muslim. I said, this is the way this is what I'm looking for. And I knew before even before this, that I wanted religion in my life. Yes. Like I said, I had, you know, I had the cross on my neck. Yes. Before I was a Muslim, obviously. And then
at that time, also I used to try to read the Bible even I found it boring. I couldn't read it. But I knew I had had this inclination or desire or desire to to to be religious. Yes, you know. And when I read this, no, this is the way this is what I want. Obviously, the first thing that affected me was the issue of tawheed of Islamic monotheism. And the one true God
And the issue of Trinity not being possible in that being something that is suitable for a lawsuit panel, which is not something suitable for God to be three in one. And when I read this, it affected me in a major way, and never heard this before we grew up, you know.
And all of a sudden, you know, I realized what I'm reading is actually, it's just the truth and what I've been taught as a young boy, it's not it's not as simple as that. Simple as that. Yeah. So this is one thing. And another thing, which a lot of people might find strange. It really, really affected me is when he was talking about the author, he was talking about the prayer, and how the Muslim prepares for the prayer, has his five daily prayers. And even in the routine, he goes through the rituals he goes through to prepare himself for prayer. One of the things that he mentioned was, first of all, is that a Muslim has to be in a place where nobody else can see him. He has to conceal
himself when he uses the bathroom. Yes. For me, this really affected me. Why? Because you as you know that you're coming from America and UK and Islam just like I did. And maybe a lot of the viewers as well, they noticed that they've been to the west or in some Western restaurants or what have you here. You'll see that they when they relieve themselves openly, openly standing next to each other. Yes, exactly. I always hate this. Yes. I couldn't see it before as I was in because I think it's not a melee. Thank you. Thank you. It was something as long as almost an hummed. We're proud of that. Exactly. This is you know, how we do so so Pinilla What happened? Is this affected
me? The second thing is they said that when a Muslim relieves himself, he sits down when you urinate.
And this also is not a manly thing. Yes, exactly. In the West, even before Islam, the Prophet sallallahu Sallam Prophet Mohammed, the Peace and blessings of lobby upon him is that that'll be used to make fun of him, because he used to sit down and say, This is not a manly thing, just like in our lessons in America. Exactly. So I used to love to sit down with you, you're not supposed to do it in America. But so when I said that, I found that Muslims did this, it really affected me because there's something I've been doing all my life, obviously, I'm here in the, in the bathroom behind closed doors, of course. So this is me affecting the big time. Wow. And this is what Muslims
don't realize is that, you know, when you implement Islam, the effect that has on the non Muslims, and I'll tell you a quick story about an older lady who was in the United Kingdom, she worked in university, and her job was washing the clothes and then ironing the clothes of the students. So she noticed that in the industry, and we will tell the viewers maybe it's a non Muslim viewers don't understand why Muslim would sit down and go through all this trouble is because when we stand in the prayer, obviously, that we don't want to have impurities on our clothes we pray does not allow this verse. So we have almost them a sit down. And also he must cleanse himself with water so thoroughly,
so he's not, it doesn't have impurities on his clothes, and he prays. So this, there was a Muslim Student in this university, who implemented this. He would sit down, he would clean himself with water thoroughly. So what his clothes would come in, there would be no stains, on his undergarments, anywhere. So all the other non Muslim students who brought their clothes, they would have stains on their
on them. Yes, Yes, I understand. Yes. That's so yeah. Because they're not you know, you're not making the stingy as we call it, water purifying using the water. Yeah. So when she saw this Muslim Student never had stains on his undergarments. She was, you know, as I say, curiosity killed the cat. In this in this situation, actually, it saved the cat. Yes. Because what she did, she said, I have to ask this, this guy, why? He doesn't have any things like all the other students. So she asked him, and she had been doing his job she had been doing for 25 years. She told him, she said, you know, why are you different? He said, it's very simple because he said, the fact is, is I'm a
Muslim, and I'm ordered that if I want to pray to do what this than genetically myself thoroughly so I don't have impurities on my clothes, so I can stand in the best of states in front in front of God. So when she heard that she said, religion like this, it has to be the region of truth. She Mashallah a Muslim right after hearing this after knowing this fact. And also, this is one of the things that affected me majorly. So I decided the next day, I said, I want to become Muslim. So I called my friend's father.
That day or very early in the morning, actually, I said I want to become Muslim. What do I do? He said, after a job you come to me and Oh, no before modem and he was like an hour before mobile application to Metro will come to DC. And we'll go to the Islamic Center in Washington DC. Yeah. And if you've been I've been at it several times with all the flags. Yes. Exactly. Near the near the embassy row. Exactly. Exactly. So I went there. And Mowgli. I prayed maga was a Muslim at that very moment with the Muslims. I was just you know, imitating What do you mean I was following them? Exactly. After that. He said, No, we have a brother who wants to become Muslim. So I got up in front
of the budget in front of the brothers and I made my Shahada and I became Muslim. And that was in January, the beginning of January 1994. Wow. Fantastic. So okay, so now, well, this is a fantastic story, actually. And you and I've talked before but I haven't never asked you this. You know about how you
came to Islam. And it's so amazing because it's amazing the kinds of stories that people have in terms of what has drawn them to Islam. And it just shows the weight of Allah. And then it's gonna use the simplest of things, you know, or either the most curious of things to attract one's attention, like the lady who's done the laundry or, or like yourself who has an accident and is caught stabbing this day at home, and now forced to read the book good, you know about Islamic law. Okay, so you accept Islam. And so, talk to us about now, what happened next, and particularly with the family because
a lot of new Muslims, you know, have some varying kinds of reactions from their family and their friends. What was the reaction of your family and friends? Once you announced that you're, you're now Muslim?
Okay, so we have the family, we have the friends, we'll start First of all, with the family.
What happened last time, blessed me with some very good brothers during that time, who were you know, serious about practicing Islam? And right after I became Muslim, they asked me where are you living? I said, I'm living you know, in this area? Yes. And they said, you know, Mashallah, we have a budget right there. And actually, the budget from my group, my grandparents house where I was living in that time, it was, you know, we did it with the car was 2.7 miles from my house. I used to walk there for fudger and other prayers and one seven amount so was it Okay, back in those days?
You were if you were healthy.
Basketball, I was playing basketball was in good shape during those days. So at that time, 2.7 miles was the closest Masood so I went there that night to the masjid and I met the other brothers and they said, you know, you want to come and learn some things in next few days. Another magenta there, we want to go there for a few days. So I went and we you know, to learn something about Islam as I was, I was coming. Yes, I had the gold cross chain, I had another gold chain. I had an earring diamond earrings are really a diamond.
you know, went to the masjid I'm praying. Now at this point, your parents don't know yet. don't know yet. Okay. This is like the second day. Okay. Now, but where were you still stand at your grandmother's Yeah. But there was another area that you were going to go there? You know, like, yes. And you know, just to have some lessons and teach you some things you want them so I went there with them. There's other in another area the brothers took me and they were you know, they were learning about, about Islam, how to pray no teaching the basics. And the good thing is they had some, you know, youth with them. These are like older brothers, but they had some, you know, some of the youth
who are my age teenagers. So they came to us and told me I was Muslim. You shouldn't have a gold necklace. You shouldn't have an earring, man. So I took it out. So it was the last event then. And then that didn't bother you. In terms of because I wanted to go Yeah, well, I wanted to learn, okay. And then I don't want to be like an outcast, obviously, you know, sure.
I noticed that after they said, I'm like only one thing gold chain have fallen on the ground as I'm making a deal with you know, yeah, so there was some peer pressure there. Yeah, but it was good peer pressure. Yeah, good. So I took that off. And then after that, we started you know, trying to learn more about Islam, the brothers will come pick me up, take me to do mom. And one of the blessings that haven't been another blessing happened to me is two weeks after I became Muslim, it was Ramadan.
And we want to talk about that later on in the show. Yeah, yes, it was Ramadan. So I had to fast Yes. And I started fasting. I didn't have trouble fasting. I mean, this was a blessing from Allah. And but this took me to the to the we in this in this room and doing this during Ramadan, the brothers are teaching me so I want to learn. I'm trying to learn more. So I started to go to the machine more and more and every day I'm going to end them in the mausoleum with the brothers. And then after this, you know, I really started to you know, get into Islam. at an early stage two, three weeks. After a month at home, they said I became Muslim. I never any shaved my beard.
Because I know this is the son of the Prophet size. And the person has ordered the Muslim men to have beards. Yes. So there's something I learned this and I learned, you know, a lot about Islam as I started buying books or reading books. And I guess I have two books that really affected me at the beginning Islamic America tell you a little later.
And then we had, you know, the turtle we were going there and praying. So all this really affected me. And then the brothers I was with they were trying to follow this in long beards and turbans, and this and Islamic attire. Yes. So I didn't know I said, I want to do like this too. So since after I became Muslim,
I've always worn Islamic attire even in America. Remember when I left America to go out to seek knowledge? Yes, I left and had my own wearing my my logo and my my turban? Yes, that's how you that's how we used to do because you know, want to follow the pseudonym. So when I've had my highlight or anything, I find something in the book, I'd highlight it and try to implement it. So I really started to love the sooner and to love Islam and this would inspire me to go overseas to study more about Islam and more about Islam. Okay, the family the family. Yeah. Okay, I haven't forgot
Good family and friends, my family actually, you'd be surprised. They're actually very happy.
Well, why what was? What did they say? That really? I'm not gonna say they're happy about Islam? And if you're happy because your life changing said better Exactly. Now see if, if you actually this is what was the response for my mother, my mother when she, I told her I says, you know, I'm now a Muslim, my religion, Islam, etc, etc. And she says that her only question was, do you all believe in God? I said we believe in God. Absolutely. And there's only one of them. Just what
she says, then that's good. She says, because as long as it makes you a better person, she says I'm okay. So obviously, your parents reacted in a similar way. Yeah. Because they know that Islam is one of the original believers in God. Exactly. My family has that much knowledge. They're not ignorant where they think we, you know, worship something else, or other than God, they know worship God. Yeah, that wasn't a big problem. Obviously, they would prefer me to be like them and be a Christian. Obviously, I'm sure of that. But the changes, no, because they tried to know tell me change and do this. And I even told my father and my stepmother were very, very strict on me when I was when I was
young. After I became Muslim, I said, I realized what you guys were trying to teach me now was good. Yes. Islam taught me this. Yes, I couldn't see it before. So I told him, thank you for what you tried to do. 100 100. So they when they saw the changes, I remember one time My grandfather was on the phone. You know, the, you know, the whole guys may talk to their old, you know, like army buddies on the phone or what have you. So he's talking to he said, I don't know what it is. He said he has Islam. I don't know what this Islam is. This is yes, there is a Muslim, you know? Yes, I don't. I don't know what it is.
He said they have this thing called the mosque. He said, he goes there. He spends a lot of time there. He doesn't come in the house late now. He doesn't talk to us, it will matter. No disrespectful ways. Yeah, only only polite. He does all these kind of chores around the house. Now. He's left, you know, hanging out with bad friends. He's left in all the bad things he used to do. So he said, whatever it is, he said, I like it. Because it's really good for 100. Yeah. So this is a positive effect that they have because of the change. Yes. Now, even at a young age, I'd stopped going to school. And I was in 11th grade. And maybe I just stopped going I was always hanging out. I
know. So your parents and your grandparents, you know, obviously saw a change in you as a result of becoming Muslim. And they were quite happy about that. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. What do you have brothers and sisters? Yes, I do. But my my brother, my oldest sister.
Anyway, I can't really say how she because she was living in a different area at that time. So I don't know where the how she felt about it. She didn't really say anything about it. My other my brother and my younger sister, my younger sister wasn't born at that time, I see. But my, my younger brother, he was, you know, young, so he didn't really have much to say about it. But in general, most of the family like my grandparents in my my mother and father, they were all you know, pretty happy about the changes. Anyways, it was me as well, one of the big things I know, for me as when I became Muslim. And of course, that was in the early 70s. One of the things that impacts a lot of new
Muslims is the relationship they have with their friends, particularly if they've had very close relationships with friends or, or if they've had, you know, behaviors and activities that were very much against Islam. So for you, how did becoming Muslim, you know, impact the relationship with your friends.
There was a lot of difficulty, I'm not gonna lie, this is one of the most difficult things even till today, you know, people when they say, you know, Islam is difficult, it's not difficult, it's not that difficult. We've just left something for something greater. Yes, and we're no good at something greater in the hereafter. That's what we're striving for. So it wasn't easy to change. It wasn't easy. And I used to describe it to some of my friends. As you know, I used to literally get sick into my stomach because I wanted to go out so bad to hang out with my friends. I really, you know, feel this sickness in my stomach. And I just, you know, because in America is open the door is right
there. So, you know, just it was really difficult. My friends would call me you know, we'd have the mobiles and the pager days and those days, you know, so the pager just keeps going off. And so what would you say to them? I mean, what would you give excuses or I'm gonna tell you to the two stories.
That actually was I guess, you know, I'll give you three stories actually changed any my life. The first reason why I started implementing
Islam more in like the first week or two weeks, was one of my friends were hanging out on the street where he's hanging in front of the house where he's always hanging out. And you know, the corner was always be there. So when we're there, we're hanging out you know, people are partying and how it is yes, of course. So So Pamela this one of the guys who said look at so and so. He said he claims he's a Muslim. But he said he's just like us. He says no different there's no change. I've only been Muslim for like nine days in that time. Yes. But he said he does we do we act like we are no different. So there's like Muslim, you know, kind of Muslim is this, you know, is that a real
Muslim? So and I said this, this statement, was like a lightning bolt to my heart. It really, really affected me. So I went back at home
I start to think, why did you become Muslim? Didn't you become Muslim to become closer to God, and to learn more about his religion in need to, you know, make some sacrifices, you know, and to change your life to change your life? And yeah, so it's one of them. The reason so the main reason, so that's why I have to make some sacrifices to do that. And that's when I started getting the sickness in my stomach and then feeling though, really want to go out. So and you know, the funny thing was, is the street where that was said, it was actually the street where I was born. Wow. And it was a street where I got into a lot of trouble. And before I became Muslim, and then that that statement
on the same street, is what changed my life. And I thought about that about a year ago, when I was talking with my friends about you know, the things before them. And I remember that it's, it's really, it was really strange. You know, it's all in that same streets of Manila. So what happened after this, one of the things that changed me as well with the friends
when you know, you have obviously influenced them, you have male friends in
the female friends, you know, they don't want to believe that I'm Muslim and you can't have relations with females. You can't talk to them on the phone now and stuff like this. So I was having a big, big problem with this. Yeah. I can't you talk to me, right? Yeah, exactly. Why can't we go out? like, No, we can't. So like I said, it was Ramadan time. And, you know, I was with the brothers in the masjid. And it was a brother, I still remember him. Mashallah. An older brother from India, much a big beard. You know, he had he had moved to the states when he's a little bit older. I know beautiful brother, though. He said, I have something an idea for you to stop all these calls.
And what was it? I'm gonna tell you now, he said, so many repeater? Yeah, for 25 cents.
And I was like, 25 cents I said is whatever. $120 you know, but a month before? And he was like, just you said you trust me, brother. I said, I trust you and sell it to me. 25 cents is like a Durham.
Yes. And I bought it for like almost, you know, lower for another house. All right. So I sold it to him. And then he took all the numbers of all the, you know, the females who are calling, and he has, you know, really heavy Indian accent. Yeah. You know. So he's like, you know, hello. And then he's talking and they're like, you know, who is he said, I bought this page. hear from him. Now. It's now my pager. Yes. So they hear this man now, with his heavy Indian accent, they're not going to call back again. Of course, no way to call me. And so he did this. And he got rid of all them for me. So that was one that was one set of the friends with that.
After this, it was a
in the last 10 days, and I learned that the symbols to make the character less dangerous. So I told my grandparents, my grandmother, she was handicapped at the time, she couldn't move around freely. So I talked to some of the scholars, I need to help my grandmother. So they said, you can go out, you know, in the morning for like an hour to help her and come back, come back to this again. So that's what we do every day. So what happened is they called me and they had gotten to an altercation to a fight. And you know, always your friends and engineers was gonna fight, you know, we have to go back and help each other. So they call me to, you know, come out, help them out. And I
said, Oh, am in a religious name, we call it you can explain to what it was, you know, we're in isolation, we don't leave the mosque for the 10 days. And they're like, wow, and they said, you really serious about this Islam, aren't you? And I said, Yes, I am. I said, if that situation, they said, we're just gonna leave you said, you know, best of luck to you. Yeah. And the thing was even nice to go hang out with him. And he will tell them about Islam. And, you know, one of them did come to Islam and interested in him.
But some, there were some things holding some of them back. They said, No, we thought you will either be dead, or to be in jail, and a few years one of the two. So since since you're a Muslim, it's it's good for you. They were happy for hamdulillah even though many of them could not you did not come to me. But they saw the benefit in it.
Because like I said, even though they weren't good. I was the worst of them.
I was the wild one. They were there. They were really, you know, they say that's good for you know, we would say we don't we don't want to see you in jail. We don't see you did you know so?
So those are good friends. Yeah. And I have Yeah, actually, it's true. Yeah. So we're very had a very tight relationship was about 677 of us. So they were all you know, happy about them. So anyways, any that they left me after that? They let me be after them. So this was a big change after that, so the friends and Sam that's that's the how it happened. The love made easy for me. It was much more difficult. And it helped me to make it you know, handle like you saw those little things that happen to you. Yes. You just made it as a way I got my pager back by the way, or did you really stuck out to me?
But I would imagine that becoming Muslim, in or near the time of Ramadan is a big help. Because it's kind of like an immersion. Yeah, because you know, if you go to do it, you know, I mean, there's the fasting, you know, there's of course the concentration on you know, praying in the masjid and, and it decaf in the title we and the Muslims are coming together. And particularly in America. This is a time when you really see a lot of music, you know, in America, so that had to be quite a good thing for you. And even something that's interesting and let them Muslims in this part of the
They don't know it and I still feel it I only spent one Ramallah after became Muslim for I went out to seek knowledge yes but I still remember that Ramadan yes the Roma bones in the West which in America that much different than they are nicer I'm gonna be I think they're nicer as well and even when you know some of my friends all my friends from America you know they really miss Ramadan in America I miss it as well yeah, it just has it has a different you know flavor I guess she's a
very nice man does indeed. Okay, we might inshallah maybe we'll get a chance to come back to it now. All right so you become Muslim hunting law. So now you make a move to learn more about Islam and you go and end up into Saudi Arabia. So what made you decide but you left specifically to learn more about Islam? Yeah. So tell us about that experience and obviously I assume you're talking I mean I'm you learned or in school in Medina? Yes. But what before I got to Medina I was there's a trip before I got there I went to them first of all, okay, and what happened is that, you know, I guess I was 18 years old. And like most Americans, we don't have a lot of knowledge of what's going on around the
around the church is true. And I'll tell you a funny story about that. My friend from Sudan, he told me that when he would meet people, he would tell them from Sudan. He say no, to the west of Saudi Arabia to the south of Egypt, Egypt. Yeah. Because they didn't know where Sudan was. Yes. So he told one that he said he's in a library in his university we were studying. And he told the the clerk, they're working in the library, and she didn't know why she's I'm not from America. I'm European senators who, then Wow, Americans, you know, for us, the world is 50 states might even know the 50 states. We don't even know all of them. Exactly. This is the world. That's the most amount. We don't
know what's going on in Canada. We're going south in Mexico. And this is quite true. So what I became Muslim, and I don't know anything was going on in the world yet. But I told you, I found love for the student and I wanted to learn more. But why Sudan? Okay, I'm coming to that. So I want to go out to seek knowledge. My friends at that time in the mosque were mostly originally from from Pakistan from India. Yes. So they, you know, the only advice they could give me was to go to where they knew which is in Pakistan or India, but I sat back and thought about it, you know, to learn Islam through a language other than the language of the Quran soon as being Arabic. You know, it's
not something I want to do. Particularly if you're going to leave your home to do some, you may as well go to executive Arabic speaking countries. So that's why I said, well help me out greatly. I'll go to an Arabic speaking country. And I learned, you know, I said, if I'm blessed to learn one language is enough. And I want to learn as the blessing is the Arabic language obviously, so I understand the Quran and the Sunnah. So I didn't know where to go. I'm obviously heard of Saudi Arabia, you know, maybe it's difficult to get there different reasons. Would Have you I was looking for maybe another country will be easier to go to. And what happened is, I was in Baltimore, and the
Imam there in the Muslim at that time, he's literally a mom in Virginia as well. He came to the mosque, and he was wearing his Sudanese attire and the big guy
in the turban and what have you. And
I asked him, I saw him I said, Okay, I'll go to Sudan. I don't know anything about Sudan. never even heard of the place in this. So I became Muslim, you know. So I said, I'll go to Sudan. You know, I'm thinking it's like any other country in the world regular, you know, yes. I didn't know it was
much more advanced now. And these days, but before it wasn't. So what I said was, I want to go to Sudan. And he gave me some, you know, recommendations. And I got on the plane with his recommendation. I didn't have any, any there's no phone was there that time very
limited amount of phones around the hearts room at that time. So actually, I wouldn't know what I do today, you know, without you know, making sure someone's gonna be there at the airport. And you went alone, I went alone had had my, my papers, recommendations, he gave me some diversity, then what have you. And the funny thing was, is I was given the whole buffer Juma in Sudan about maybe about six months ago, from this time from now. Yes, six months ago. And after I prayed, I saw the same email. He's got a little older now. I guess it is a little later. In the late 60s, maybe I'm assuming it's not his early 70s. So I saw him. And I gave him salons. I said, I'm so and so. And I
said, You were the one who sent me here to Sudan. Wow. Oh, the same from America from America. He was there and he was there in Sudan. And he actually prayed unless you were I used to be the Philippine before I came to the Emirates here. Yeah, I was like the leave of the court was in English. So I gave the whole been I see him there. So he didn't remember, you know, like I said, he said, I said, honestly, I'm sorry, brother, I don't remember that I sent you. I said, whatever it is, I'm the last everything I do now, all the study I did 10 years in Medina, and all the you know, the lectures, I gave him the focus and you get the edge of inshallah for
Allah Tada. So he's very happy about that. So this is, you know, what, just for no reason, the reason I saw this guy, and I just I don't want to go to Sudan. So I went to Sudan. And I stayed there for a little over a year. And I end up getting married their Sudanese sister after about six months. So I guess you know,
When you and your father, yes, you know, when there was been any in your destiny when it was what that is and decided for you. You know, that's why I was sent there so I can get married and she was still married today, today from there and then with our kids and everything. So that's why I know I end up going there. Later on the brothers there, they informed me that if you want, you know, very good quality knowledge and you want to be able to find better opportunities to learn. Yes, we advise you to go to Saudi Arabia. So that's when the past started towards Saudi Arabia to learn that. So how long were you in? So you're in Sudan for how many? Any altogether? Because I went back there
after I graduated. Yeah, for about four years altogether in the beginning, about a year old, a lot of young. Okay, so you went to Saudi Arabia? Obviously to Medina First, I would I mean, as far as the study is concerned, oh, no, actually, it didn't. It wasn't that easy. Awesome. What happened is that my, some of my teachers there and my friends, they were some of them were from the students of shiffman, bezer himolla. So during that time, when I went there, at first, I couldn't get to Riyadh where he was because he wouldn't have to travel during those days. I mean, now it's easier. But during those days, so one time on the show, he came to Mecca, there's as a mecca, I heard and I went
there a second time
to meet the ship with this recommendation I had for him from his students in Sudan. So when you heard the recommendation, and it's actually a very interesting story, what how it happened is because when I went in, and the chef who was very helpful, he's the love to help people. So Rahim Allah so he used to come and when I was in the scene, there's this guy sitting there with all these papers about this, you know, Steckler? No, no, and I'm not joking this this big. And I remember he was talking to a sister from France. She was on the phone. Yeah, asking about different questions he answered. So when he finished, you know, the guy would talk was talking to him, he would read the
letters to him. So what happened is, I was hesitant. I said, if I give him my paper, he won't read it for two weeks. So I said, I'm just not going to go, I started to go back. And I said, Just try. Maybe they'll read it. You know, maybe not. It can't hurt. Yeah, exactly. So I went in, I gave the paper. And then she really loves it. Today's new ship with another boy from Sudan. He really the best, he really loves him. You know, he used to be his driver and one of his students, what have you. So he has a very close relationship with him. The guy took the paper that I had from Sudan, he took it and he put it on the bottom like this. I mean, this deck is yes, big. After shaking off the
phone, he took it from the bottom, a locker. And he said to him,
you know, ship, Earth man from the Sudan. And he read the he read the disk in the recommendation. And I really believe that, that maybe the recommendation is a little, you know, embellished, it's a little too much I didn't really deserve it was in there. But the shift if you saw him rahimullah how his face lit up. And he started smiling. I've never seen him smile. There's big me, Oh, my God, I've seen him. You know, I've never seen him smile this big. And he said, I know who and where is he? Where is he? So I said, this is I'm hearing this? Yes. And I came back and I kissed him on his forehead. And he said, you know, also that one of the things he would do, he would write the
recommendation or help you. But he would have to come back maybe a week or two later because there's a lot of people in front of you. So he wrote the recommendation right there is everybody was waiting. Wow. You don't even know right now. I'm villa. And he started to write it to data had eaten Mecca, because that's what the guy from Sudan thought was a good idea. And I said no, she actually I said I want to go to the University of Medina and Medina. So So what he did during that time, is he
wrote immediately to the head of the universe that time was decided at
the time he wrote him a recommendation. And for me to get accepted into the University of Medina.
When he did this, I took it there the sheikh said something to me. And I said, He said if you don't it doesn't work out for you there. He said, Come back to Montreal and I will make a visa for you a permanent residence visa. So you can seek knowledge with me in reality, and I say I wish I had done that, you know, because that would have been Yes.
Yeah, I find a lot of fear later in Medina, they obviously I got accepted with the scale from from the full level also donathan bust of a loss of Panama Island. I can accept the University of Medina I feel that what program did you enter there? Okay, when I first went, I was able to speak Arabic and understand Arabic very good, because my wife is and for her experiences today and I traveled all around the Arab world. So my Arabic wasn't that bad when it came to understanding and it came to reading excuse me came understanding and speaking in our reading and writing I was very weak. So I started from level one in the Arabic program there and what I did
some of the steps they just start from level two because you heard because it is too good for level one as it also one of my goals is not just my reading and writing to become strong. Perhaps in the future if I want to teach this if I go back to America as you learn from level one, it's much easier to teach I was everything I've studied. So I say level one all the way to the end and there was a way to prolong even for a third years it was a two year program. We could prolong with a third year to get a fifth level in that's what I did. I took three years at the beginning and I studied Arabic there and I'm dead from Arabic I good enough and I was always you know with the and the circles
The Misha for the other scholars in the profits and loss Elisa to salon, and other places in Medina from Ghana. So did you receive a certificate or some we call a diploma, we considered an associate degree in Arabic or Islamic. First of all learning Arabic as a as a second language. That's the first thing I got. And then I went to the College of Hadeeth. After that,
I was sick in the beginning for like the first year and a half there. So when I went back to the new multi ocean bus was that at that time, so I went back to new movie, I wanted to change it because they said you can't change after one week, and I'm a year and a half. Yes, so we're back to normal D shaped disease on a ship and you have the law and look back to him. And I requested from him that he helped me I want to change the law to explain to him the reasons to change. So he wrote to me also to the same shifts on our booth, the same head of the university for me to change the the the college. So then I made the change to another college. So I could start a fresh start from the
College of Dell and Associate Dean. So I graduated from there from the college that was to do
with a BA, Islamic studies from there. And then that was a nine years after the two colleges and the Arabic program. I was there for nine years. I want to stay for an extra year. So I could finish some of the classic or classical texts of fifth and what have you, outside of the university. So I stay with some of the scholars there and I finished different names there for them. So I actually stayed with you for 10 years during this time. Very good. hamdulillah so now, since that time, and since you're, you know, 100 us seeking of knowledge in Sudan and in Saudi Arabia and in Medina, what kinds of briefly because we're about to run out of time. Okay. Now, what activities have you been involved
in? Okay. When I graduated, I was you know, reluctant? Where do I go back to America or to Sudan? And my whole plan was to say, in starting Arabia, yes, but I want to go somewhere, we were closer to one of our families. So we decided, you know, that America might be difficult because, you know, when it comes to raising children there, even though Tao wise, you know, being between a place where I'm from, you know, and helping the Muslims there, I'd be much more effective. Obviously, I know that yes. But my children they don't speak English, by the way, certainly Arabic. The mother took the mother's Language and English now but their their main tongue is Arabic. You know, it's easier
in this part of the world. I'm there to raise the children so we decided to go to Sudan. When I was in Sudan, I started teaching there in a school Islamic Studies in English and also Islamic Studies Arabic and some of them and another school. So I'm talking to schools there. And I was giving a lot of lectures and Arab Okay, it wasn't Arabic and both English right. And also I was given the hope of Juma I have that television shows their TV as soon as TV station very good. All right, and for sure about out of time now my producers telling me but right now while you're in the Emirates you're also teaching Islamic Studies and Arabic and one of the schools here ticket okay what I decided to make a
change I want it to be easy for my family to come from the US it's easier for them to come here to the UAE. So what did I decide to take a job here I had an offer to teach Islamic Studies in English
almost with teaching some classes in Arabic and at a school here in Dubai. So I've been here now for about four months doing that. Islamic Studies and English at school. My brother Thank you very much. It's been a fantastic story and fascinating story a lot rewards you continue in, in your life and in your future. I
really will. I would hate to go out of time because I'd like to continue this more. But on behalf of Sharjah TV and now program Assam today. We would like to thank our guests, brother Abdul Rahim. And myself I'm Mohammed newbie. I said I'm Alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh